The Verdict

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That, my friends, is my tooth.

This is a long overdue post but the ordeal of that fateful day must be written down and forever be remembered as one of the most painful days of my life… so far.

After writing the last post, Adrian’s tooth extraction took 2 whole hours. The dentist rated the difficulty of his tooth a 10 out of 10. His tooth was so deeply embedded that the dentist simply had to saw his tooth into many pieces to be taken out. It didn’t quite help that I could hear Adrian “oww”ing and “ouch”ing from the waiting room. He came out with his face more swollen than ever and gave a good luck salute to me. That doesn’t look good at all.

So I had an X-ray of my wisdom tooth taken. Mr. Dentist takes a look and gave a slightly more optimistic point that my tooth is not as deep as Adrian and could possibly be easier to remove. Yes. He said could and possibly. No guarantees.

Whoever told me that one does not feel the sting of the local anaesthesia needle and the gruesome pain during the procedure… seriously seriously told a big fat lie. My goodness, I could actually feel the needle going straight down the gum and jaw and as he injected the LA, I thought I felt it trickle down the insides of my neck. I immediately felt a weird sensation in my lips and tongue.

Yuck. So this is what numb feels like?

So he started the procedure. Pushing the gums away from the exterior of my tooth, sawing the visible portion of my tooth into the bits you see above and pulling them out. Yeah, so far, no extreme pain, but the horrible sound of the saw cutting through the tooth.

Then came the nightmare. I felt pain. Real pain when he tried nudging the root of my tooth out. Sure I was anxious and jittery but I really felt a terrible sensation from within my gums.

“Oh, you feel pain? Alright. I’ll add on more LA,” Mr. Dentist says.

Then comes the ugly sight of the gigantic needle as he injects more LA to numb the affected area.

He nudges again.

PAINFUL!

“Still painful? Okay. I’ll inject some more.”

Needle.

Nudge.

Pain.

LA.

Needle.

Nudge.

Pain.

That cycle pretty much went on a few more times for at least half an hour. For some reason, he could not quite find the exact spot of where the LA is working and every time he tried tugging and pulling my root out, it simply will not let loose, and when it did get loose, my root just wouldn’t budge.

Stupid wisdom tooth.

By this time, he had already used up 5 vials of LA and I think I was on the brink of an overdose because by now, I started developing left facial palsy. I could not blink my left eye. Now, I started getting REALLY scared.

Oh. So this is what facial palsy feels like?

I actually had to use my hand to close my left eye. So I tried asking with my half numb lips and tongue the dose he had already injected in and did a mental calculation whether we had overdose myself. He assured me that we hadn’t. He knew what I was thinking. I wasn’t so sure.

That big screwdriver-like thing to normally yank out the root was not working because of the pain I felt each time he tried to dig my root out. He called his assistant to bring out another tool which looked like big pliers and already-visibly-frustrated-at-how-my-stubborn-wisdom-tooth-root-hangs-on-in-its-cozy-corner Mr Dentist was ready to give it a big yank out. I’ve never felt so frightful like I was when I was a child and my mom was going to yank my baby tooth out. I gave a hand signal for him to do it S-L-O-W-L-Y as I brace for the worst pain to come. The pliers still didn’t work. It couldn’t get a good grip on my tooth.

Now what?

He gave more LA. This time I think he hit the right spot. The big screwdriver to literally scoop my tooth out didn’t feel so painful. Oh, but the compressive sensation when he does it…I can’t even describe what a dreadful feeling it is!

“Almost…. almost there.”

Oh, for goodness sake, won’t you come out already, you useless tooth?

“It’s out!”

I gave out such a loud sigh of relief, I actually thought I had given birth to a baby! (Being in O&G everyday does not help in situations like these!) I looked at the clock. My procedure also took two whole hours long.

Wow. Even I could perform a caesarean section faster than my tooth would come out!

He went on and gave my three stitches in my gum. My face was still numb and the palsy was still there. By the time we reached home, the pain had become so awful, I couldn’t even get a shut eye. It was like a throbbing dull pain from within the skull that hurts the bone and the jaw. I lost my appetite and I didn’t even know what I could do to take the pain away. We had already popped our celebrex pills and the pain was still there.

The next few days were the worst days of my life.

Post-op day 1: Hungry but could not eat. Trismus (the inability to open mouth) was definitely there. Developed fever with chills.

Post-op day 2: Still feeling feverish. Porridge for lunch, porridge for dinner. The only thing that differed was between chicken porridge and pork porridge. Face super swollen and jaw felt crazy warm.

Post-op day 3: Even brushing teeth was difficult as the toothbrush could not reach certain parts of my tooth because of the trismus. I can’t fit a spoon in my mouth because of the trismus. I literally had to suck the food from the spoon. Let’s not even talk about biting or chewing.

Even when it was the day to take out my stitches, I still could not open my mouth wide enough and was worried that the dentist will not be able to reach in. Thankfully he could with the limited visibility.

Today, I’d say that it has improved a lot but it’s still there. Maybe a 90% improvement? Still feeling the tensed jaw muscles and I can’t quite open my mouth as wide as I could before. Gosh, I wonder how long it would take to fully recover?

Mr. Dentist says that I have another wisdom tooth on the other side that’s malaligned and may need removal in the future.

No way. I’m not going to go through that gruesome agony ever again.

I used to tell my younger friends to consider dentistry as I thought it was a good job and easy going with not too much going on as compared to a doctor. I take that back. Dentistry is not for the weak hearted.

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